Coup in Cote d'Ivoire has been in the waiting
by Tom Kamara


Thanks for analysis (Coup in Cote d'Ivoire and its implications for democracy in Africa by Chido Nwangwu; see summary below). However, I share your concerns with reservations. The military coup in the Ivory Coast (Cote d'Ivoire) has been in the waiting. What we saw there was a superficial stability in which an political party at independence in 1960 maintained its grip on the country by hook or crook, claiming to have all answers to serious socioeconomic problems and denouncing any one who thought otherwise as "foreigner."

But more importantly, Ivory Coast has been the bedrock of destabilization process in in Africa as a whole. They backed UNITA's Jonas Savimbi at the cost of the Angolan people; tthey backed Bokassa to ensure that stupidity and butchery prevail in other countries while they slept well; they danced with Mobutu to ascertain the death of Zaire. More recently and with even more socioeconomic and therefore political implications, they backed Liberia's Charles Taylor and Sierra Leone's Sankoh, ensuring that Liberia and Sierra Leone are reduced to rubbles and that suffering and poverty become the norm while Abidjan remained the commercial capital of the sub region and benefiting from our misery.

While I pray for the institutionalization of democracy in Africa, what was being entrenched in Ivory Coast was a fascist political clique that took pleasure in extending the misery of others. Oh! I am so happy that they are gone.

This is just Round One for the Ivorian people. Round Two will be power struggle breeding the madness of warlordism.

After this phase of the history of Ivory Coast, Ivorians will realize that salvation does not lie in Paris, singing songs written in France. They will realize that we need genuine unity to build democracy and that this cannot be done by fanning the flames of horror in other countries while you ensure dictatorship under the guise of democracy at home.

As a Liberian who has seen my country move from worse to the ridiculous , largely because of Ivory Coast, I am happy about the coup. As an African, I am sad that other Africans can be so callous as the Ivorian political leadership been in destroying other nations.
Kamara is based in the Netherlands.

Coup anywhere in Africa is a setback for all of Africa
by Wyar@aol.com

However, we cannot blame our semi-illiterate armies for overthrowing the greedy, over zealous, egotistic and often blood thirsty leaders who rule their own people with iron hands. We cry for democracy when there is a coup, but there is never democracy anyway, with or without a coup.

Until African politicians begin to play the roles of servants of the people and their countries, instead of followers and worshippers of an individual who is usually the president, it is always going to be that way: one coup after another from one country to another, across the continent. Cry our beloved continent and people!

Propping up bogus democracies is not the right way into the next Millennium

by Younger Kweme

Even though Ivory Coast is my next door neighbor, Liberia, from what happened in my country, the authorities should have learned something from our experience. Freedom of expression is the cornerstone, I think, of democracy. Jailing your opponents and causing fear in the people starts the beginning of the end of any so-called democratic institution.

I hate military coups. Yet, I despise foolish leaders who refuse to learn from history. Until African leaders can learn to accept criticisms and engage themselves in political dialogues for meaningful and long lasting peace to all of the people, our home land will continue to be the laughing stock of the world. Sorry, but this is reality. We need to stop fooling ourselves.Propping up bogus democracies is not the right way into the next Millennium. Participatory democracy is the only hope for Africa. Let's stop the gimmick.

Issue is: Is military dictatorship better than an imperfect democracy?
by Chido Nwangwu
Publisher, USAfricaonline.com

As the world speaks in terms of the democratic future and digital technologies, why did Gen. Robert Guei make Africa the laughing stock of the world by closing 1999 with the negative news and event of yet another military coup? As a student of political science and recent history of Africa, I'm not idealistic to the facts and realities of why, when and how military coups happen in Africa. The issue should not just be whether it can happen; yes, it can. The danger and critical issue is this: if it happens, how should pro-democracy forces confront and overcome the thugs who seize power for many self-serving reasons? Therefore, the challenge for pro-democracy forces is to draw a line in the sand to oppose military interventions. But who will struggle for and return democracy to Cote d'Ivoire? How it is answered, when and how democracy is returned to my beloved Ivorian friends and brethrens (who saved and kept thousands of my kith and kin when it mattered most in 1970), will be a good indicator of where Africa and Africans want to be in the 21st century.

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